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Application Procedure & Admissions Requirements - Finding Your Way to an Institution of Higher Education
Some Topics related to this Issue are as below :
Even if you have studied for a while in your home country, you still have to apply for admission to a degree course at the German institution of your choice. There are three exceptions to this rule:
Applications from DAAD scholarship holders are handled by the DAAD. These students do not have to seek preliminary admission from the university or college of their choice.
When the university of your choice is a member of the Admission Service ASSIST, you have to send your application via ASSIST
If you want to study a subject for which admissions restrictions apply throughout Germany (Numerus clausus - NC subject) and are a so-called educational national, i.e. you gained your higher education entrance qualification (Abitur, etc.) at a German school or at a recognised German school abroad, or if you are a national of a European Union country, then you can apply, like German nationals, to the Central Admissions Office
Admission requirements
We will help you with the admission requirements, whether your secondary school-leaving certificate or your qualification for admission to higher education, respectively, is sufficient for direct admission to higher education institutions in Germany or if you will be required to take the Assessment Test (Feststellungsprüfung).
More details about admission requirements can be found here.
Application form
Here we provide an application form for admission to studies for foreign applicants. Please note that some Higher Education Institutions in certain federal states of Germany (e.g. Bavaria) do not accept the application form you find here.
Please make sure before applying to a certain University or Fachhochschule that the application form will be accepted.
Conatct us for more details:
Please also note, that you have to send your application via the Admission Service ASSIST when the university of your choice is a member of ASSIST
Restricted admissions
Certain subjects are so popular that there are not enough study places. German and international students are then subject to a selection process in which the average marks gained in the "Abitur" or the equivalent foreign higher education entrance qualification (in most cases the school leaving certificate) determine admission. There are disciplines subject to restricted admissions ("Numerus clausus") throughout Germany (e.g. medicine, pharmacology), while others are only subject to regional or local restrictions. Since great importance is attached to enabling foreign citizens to study at German institutions of higher education, a certain percentage of study places in restricted admissions subjects have been reserved for international applicants. See this as encouragement and go ahead and apply for these subjects as well.
Registration and fees
As soon as you have received notification of admission ("Zulassungsbescheid") from the International Office ("Akademisches Auslandsamt") and taken the language test, you can register as a student at the respective institution of higher education (you will be given a registration number, "Matrikelnummer"). The notification of admission also tells you by when you should register. Please note that the deadlines are often short-term and that you usually have to appear in person! Registration takes place at the Registrar's or Admissions Office ("Studentensekretariat" or "Immatrikulationsamt"). The procedures differ from one institution to another, so get hold of a copy of the information leaflet from the Registrar's Office well in advance. This will tell you which documents you have to bring with you, eg. certificates, usually the originals with certified translations. In any case, apart from the notification of admission, you will have to produce a health insurance certificate ("Krankenversicherungsnachweis") unless you fall into one of the exceptional categories exempt from compulsory insurance cover.
Public (state-maintained) universities in Germany do not generally charge tuition fees. Some Master's programmes and the additional fees charged by some of the federal states are exceptions to this rule. Additionaly, you will be required to pay a minimal social contribution ("Sozialgebühr") which can extend 50 euros depending on the institution, which will entitle you to a student identity card, a course record book (at universities), and several registration certificates ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigungen"). By registering and paying the social contribution at some institutions you become entitled to a so-called "Semester Ticket" which allows you to use public transport during the semester free of charge. The charge for the social contribution is increased accordingly. Now you are a certified student in Germany. The student identity card is usually a computer print-out, although some institutions have introduced an identity card (similar to a credit card) so that certain administrative procedures, such as registration renewal, course registration and library lending, merely involve inserting the card into a machine. You need the registration certificates when applying for student accommodation or for obtaining reduced-price fares from the transport companies.
Registration Renewal
Registration at German institutions of higher education is only valid for one semester. If you want to continue studying in Germany subsequently you have to submit a registration renewal declaration ("Rückmeldeerklärung") for the next semester to the Registrar's Office. This you will receive together with your course record book ("Studienbuch"). Similarly, each semester you will have to produce a new insurance certificate from your health insurance agency and pay the social contribution (and the semester ticket where applicable). There are closing-dates for renewing registration which are posted in the Registrar's Office and contained in the university catalogue. Please note that you will be exmatriculated if you fail to renew your registration in time!
Course Registration
With your course record book you will receive a registration sheet ("Belegbogen") for noting the lectures and seminars you have attended. You need it for registering for examinations, together with the course certificates ("Scheine"), proving you have taken part in the mandatory parts of your course. At many institutions (especially Fachhochschulen) the requirement to provide documentary evidence has been waived but the registration sheet can be very useful for informing your own institution at home what lectures and seminars you have attended abroad.
Registering at Your Department
Just registering at the Registrar's Office is not always the end of the procedure. As a rule you will have to register in writing at your department or departments, too. Enquire at the secretary's office as early as possible whether and when you need to call there and which documents you should take with you. At registration you will receive a seminar card ("Seminarkarte") which you have to renew each semester. The seminar card can only be collected at specific times, too, and these will be posted in the department.
N.B.: Due to the fact that some courses are far too full many professors now require students to register for their lectures and seminars before the semester begins. When a certain number has been reached, registration is simply closed. So do enquire at the department well in advance to which courses this applies.
International Student Identity Card / FIYTO Card / Deutsch-Französischer Sozialausweis
Well, as you are getting plenty of exercise running from one office to the next you might as well pop round to the Students' Union, AStA, or the Student Representation at your institution, to pick up an International Student Identity Card for about € 4-6. It entitles you to reduced rate travel and entry tickets abroad. The FIYTO-Card (Federation of International Youth Travel Organisation) is also extremely useful. It offers a lot of reductions on foreign travel to students up to the age of 26. It is available from Student Services ("Studentenwerk") together with the Franco-German Social Card which entitles you to eat at French university restaurants and apply for accommodation in French student hostels during the recess.
Important Dates
Important Dates :

- The academic year comprises the winter semester (October, 1st to March, 31st) and the summer semester (April, 1st to September, 30th).
- Starting dates for the courses are usually April, 15th (summer semester) and October, 15th (winter semester). The dates vary from one institution and from one federal state to another. Precise dates in the Course Catalogue or at the Foreign Student Office.
- Closing date for admissions applications at the Foreign Student Office are July, 15th for the following winter semester and January, 15th for the following summer semester.
- Closing date at the ZVS in Dortmund is July, 15th for the following winter semester, and January, 15th for the following summer semester.
- The deadline for applications for the Medical students' test is September, 15th.
How do I get my study achievements recognised?
ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is the name of a system which the European Commission introduced to facilitate academic and student mobility. Under the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme, the ECTS promotes the recognition of study achievements between European universities and colleges and curriculum transparency. Many institutions have already introduced the ECTS in some or all subjects.
After completing their studies abroad, students' academic achievements (including individual marks) are transferred by the ECTS and can then be recognised.
If the ECTS does not apply in your case, you should get the relevant academic staff to certify that you have attended their courses and collect all your course certificates and papers. These will help you to demonstrate to your home institution exactly what, when and how you studied in Germany.
Information is also available from the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Culture of the Länder (Standige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland - KMK), which, among other responsibilities, is working on promoting the international transparency of academic achievements and is concerned with encouraging more foreign students to take up their studies in Germany.
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Higher Education Entrance Requirements for International Applicants
First-year students : -
Foreigners applying for admission to studies at a higher education institution in Germany require, just like German applicants do, a higher education entrance qualification. If this qualification is recognised as equivalent to the German qualification, the foreign applicant can be directly admitted to take a course of academic studies in the chosen discipline.
Foreign applicants holding a higher education entrance qualification which is only conditionally comparable with a German qualification may also be admitted to a course of academic studies, but must pass an assessment test, the so-called Feststellungsprüfung (or in full: Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung ausländischer Studienbewerber für die Aufnahme eines Studiums an Hochschulen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), before they can start studying. Alternatively, proof of one or two successfully completed academic years of study at a higher education institution in the home country may also counted.
Responsibility for deciding whether or not a foreign higher education entrance qualification is equivalent to or only conditionally comparable to the German qualification lies with the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs in the German federal states and is made on the basis of evaluation standards. We will help you with whether your higher education entrance qualification is equivalent to the German qualification on the DAAD admissions database or the database maintained by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)
The higher education institutions themselves or the preparatory and foundation courses Studienkollegs which they operate are fundamentally responsible for getting students ready for the assessment test (Feststellungsprüfung) and for setting it.
Holders of a higher education entrance qualification which is recognised as equivalent to the German general higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) may commence their studies as soon as they have proved that they are adequately proficient in the German language by presenting a German language proficiency certificate, the "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber" (DSH) or the TestDaF certificate. Holders of the "Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Stufe II", the "Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung" awarded by the Goethe Institute or the "Großer Sprachdiplom" or "Kleiner Sprachdiplom", also awarded by the Goethe Institute, are exempted from having to take the DSH or TestDaF tests.
The DSH can only be taken at the university or higher education institution itself..
Test DaF can be taken in Germany as well as abroad.:
Graduates : -
If you would like to apply to a German higher education institution for a course of graduate studies with the goal of gaining a Master's, Magister or Diplom degree, then you must initially seek placement in an appropriate degree programme. The recognition of the study and examination achievements and certificates which you already hold will play a major role here. Please note that a foreign Bachelor's degree is not always equivalent to a German academic degree, but may, possibly, only be recognised as an intermediate or preliminary qualification.
As a rule, the secretariat of the faculty or department at the higher education institution of your choice will be responsible for this recognition.
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